In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, we want to emphasize that both physical and mental well-being are vitally important to us and to you, our ElliptiGO customers. Health isn’t just a business for us; it’s a way of life. Mental health plays a pivotal role in living a joyful and fulfilling life, and it deserves attention.
Fortunately, the conversation surrounding mental health is gradually shedding its stigma and gaining more traction, particularly among athletes. Top performers like Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles and fellow ElliptiGO rider and Olympian Molly Seidel have openly shared their experiences, highlighting the importance of prioritizing mental health.
You know that euphoric feeling that washes over you after an invigorating ElliptiGO ride? Those delightful happy hormones are working their magic, but there’s so much more to gain. Let’s explore the multitude of mental health advantages that come with embracing a consistent exercise routine.
Have you heard of the runner’s high, the euphoric state that athletes experience during and after periods of intense exercise? This can happen to regular exercisers as well, because physical activity releases chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins. Mayo Clinic says that these “natural cannabis-like brain chemicals and other natural brain chemicals … enhance your sense of well-being.”
For an extra boost of those feel-good chemicals, get outside. Exercising outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air can be a natural antidepressant. It can naturally increase serotonin levels and help fight depression and anxiety.
Alongside this internal release of endorphins, there are external factors that play into the mental health benefits, too. Mayo Clinic notes that you’re likely to engage in social interaction when you exercise (like our amazing ElliptiGO community of riders), that you’ll be gaining confidence by meeting goals, and that you’ll be armed with new, healthy coping skills when faced with struggles or obstacles in life. Social accountability and motivation also can help improve memory formation and protect against diseases.
I think at some point we’ve all had the thought, “I’m too stressed to workout” or “I don’t have time.” In reality, taking your mind off your worries, even for just 20-30 minutes, with physical exercise is the best thing you can do for mental health. After exercising, you return to your day with a clearer and more relaxed mind. That is because exercise decreases the body’s sensitivity to anxiety. Reducing the body’s cortisol levels can lower long-term health risks.
Psychologist Laura Fredendall says, “When we’re overwhelmed with anxiety and depression, shifting from the big picture—all the frustrations, worst-case scenario thinking—to the small, in-the-moment task of doing something that approaches a goal, will kick off a positive feedback loop that continues throughout the workout and takes our thinking and emotions out of the trench of negativity.”
ElliptiGO rider Richard shares, “I am 66 years old and have run everyday for over 35 years. I had total hip replacement surgery and was told my daily running would have to end. My ElliptiGO has replaced my needed exercise totally. I know I am getting a good workout because when I return, my wife asks, ‘Are you doing OK?’ Thanks ElliptiGO! My mental health and my family thank you.”
A good night’s sleep improves our mood and cognitive brain function, strengthens our immune system and lowers our risk of disease. Engaging in physical activity during the day helps to increase the amount of deep sleep obtained at night, which is crucial for restorative processes in the body.
Exercise acts as a natural sleep aid by promoting the release of endorphins and reducing stress hormones such as cortisol, which can interfere with sleep. Consistent exercise helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, aligning it with a more natural sleep-wake cycle. Individuals who exercise regularly often experience quicker sleep onset, better sleep efficiency and an overall improvement in sleep duration.
Regular exercise also works wonders for boosting your self-confidence. With each workout, you’ll witness your progress and feel a sense of accomplishment, leading to a newfound belief in your abilities. And let’s not forget the incredible impact exercise has on your appearance. As you get in shape, you’ll notice positive changes in your body, which can do wonders for your self-image and make you feel even more confident.
ElliptiGO rider Scott Berger said he has experienced that boost in his self-esteem from riding his bike. He shared, “One of the most important things as you get older is believing you can not only maintain your physical abilities but continue to improve them. When I’m on my ElliptiGO 8C I think I can do that extra mile, or 5 miles or 10 miles. It’s a great source of personal satisfaction.”
Healthy Coping Skills
We all have different ways of managing feelings of stress, anxiety or depression. Exercise can be a positive way to cope with what life throws at you. It forces you to be present in the moment and in your body, allowing you to release tension and increase relaxation.
Customer Krag J. says, “If you were thinking about whether you should have this bike, don’t wait, get it. Double the value of your investment in your mental health and physical health! You will not regret it.”
There are a multitude of mental health benefits from exercise, from reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to helping with symptoms of trauma or ADHD. Don’t get overwhelmed by thinking you have to start off going on 20-mile long rides. It’s okay to set small, achievable goals for yourself and gradually build from there. Mayo Clinic and CDC report that completing 30 minutes or more of exercise between three and five days a week can improve depression and anxiety symptoms. Pick a day and time that works best for you, but aim to work out consistently, a few days each week.
Are you ready to get out there and ride? Pump up those tires, throw on that helmet and embrace the joy of exercise. It not only energizes your body but also empowers your mind!